NBA

The 25 Best Three-Point Shooters in NBA History

Stephen Curry holds up three fingers after draining a three.
The three-pointer has become a huge part of the game — and Stephen Curry is one of the best three-point shooters | Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The NBA used to be a game for the biggest and strongest. Players such as George Mikan, Wilt Chamberlain, and Bill Russell dominated the hardwood. And while the game still rewards those who are big and strong, basketball has evolved. Nearly 40 years after the NBA accepted the three-point line, it’s finally become a major part of how teams play.

Threes are being hoisted at record paces. With that in mind, we looked at the best three-point shooters in history. We used statistical objectives of at least 800 made threes and an average of four attempts per game.

25. O.J. Mayo

O.J. Mayo of the Milwaukee Bucks looks on during the third quarter against the Boston Celtics.
O.J. Mayo of the Milwaukee Bucks looks on during the third quarter against the Boston Celtics | Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

If you looked at O.J. Mayo right now, you’d probably wonder why he’s on this list. After all, he’s hitting just 32.1% of his three-pointers for the Milwaukee Bucks this season. But there was a time when Mayo not only hit at a high percentage, but also knocked them down at a high volume. For his career, Mayo is a 37.3% shooter from downtown on 4.2 attempts per game. His best season came in his one season with the Dallas Mavericks back in 201213; he hit on 40.7% from downtown.

24. Eddie Jones

Los Angeles Lakers' Eddie Jones drives against Seattle SuperSonics' Hersey Hawkins.
Los Angeles Lakers’ Eddie Jones drives against Seattle SuperSonics’ Hersey Hawkins | Dan Levine/AFP/Getty Images)

Shooting guard Eddie Jones is a former All-Star and a good three-point shooter. He hit on 37.3% of his threes throughout his 14-year career, which covered his time with the Los Angeles Lakers, Charlotte Hornets, Miami Heat, Memphis Grizzlies, and Dallas Mavericks. His best season shooting from three-point range is when he hoisted 5.1 shots per game in 200203 with the Heat, hitting on 40.7%. The following year, he knocked down a career-best 177 three-point shots.

23. Vince Carter

Vince Carter looks up at the basket.
Vince Carter has shot a lot of threes | Robert Laberge/Allsport/Getty Images

Still going strong in his 19th NBA season, former superstar Vince Carter is not only one of the best three-point shooters in history but also one of the most frequent three-point shooters. He’s No. 5 in NBA history in made three-point field goals, and No. 3 among active players behind only Paul Pierce and Jason Terry. Carter has experienced three seasons in which he’s hit better than 40% from downtown and 10 seasons in which he hit 100 or more three-pointers. He’s not what he once was, but he still hits the threes for the Memphis Grizzlies.

22. J.R. Smith

J.R. Smith of the Cleveland Cavaliers warms up.
J.R. Smith of the Cleveland Cavaliers warms up before Game 6 of the 2016 NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors | Jason Miller/Getty Images

Cleveland Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith is a bit of a free spirit, but he’s also a good three-point shooter. He’s hit on 37.5% for his career. It’s impressive when you consider that his career started 81-for-281 (28.8%) from beyond the arc.

Since his second season, however, Smith has been a solid, high-volume, three-point shooter. He’s had nine years in which he’s hit more than 100 threes; two years in which he hit 40% or better; and set a career-best last season with 204 made baskets. On top of all this, Smith was a big part of the 2015–16 NBA championship in Cleveland.

21. Jason Terry

Jason Terry of the Dallas Mavericks reacts after he made a three-point shot.
Jason Terry of the Dallas Mavericks reacts after he made a three-point shot | Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Previously mentioned guard Terry has also been around the NBA for a long time. Believe it or not, he’s still active; Terry spent the 2016–17 season playing for the Milwaukee Bucks under former teammate and head coach Jason Kidd. He’s hit on 37.9% of his three-point attempts throughout his career, which is good for 2,201 made baskets to date. Terry’s best season came in 2006–07 with the Dallas Mavericks, when he made 43.8% from downtown while hitting 162 three-pointers.

20. Mike Bibby

Mike Bibby brings the ball upcourt.
Mike Bibby brings the ball upcourt | Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Originally drafted by the Vancouver Grizzlies in 1998, point guard Mike Bibby wasn’t always one of the greatest three-point shooters in volume or in percentage. In his first three seasons combined, Bibby averaged just 2.4 three-point shots per game while making 35.4% of those shots. But he improved, ending his career with four shots per game and a 37.9% accuracy. Bibby’s best year came in his second-to-last season in the NBA in 2011–12, when he made 44% of his threes and knocked down 153 of them.

19. Ryan Anderson

Ryan Anderson points up at the sky after scoring a three-pointer.
Ryan Anderson is a big-time three-point shooter | Patrick Smith/Getty Images

A 6-foot-10 power forward, Ryan Anderson has defined “stretch four” throughout his NBA career. He’s only 28 years old, but he’s put up 5.5 three-point shots per game and hit 37.9% of those shots in his nine-year career. His best season came as a 25-year-old with the New Orleans Pelicans back in 2013–14, when Anderson made a career-best 40.9% of his threes while putting up a career-high 7.5 of them per game. This season, with the Houston Rockets, Anderson has hit 40.3% so far on 6.7 attempts per game.

18. Michael Redd

Michael Redd of the Milwaukee Bucks walks in front of the scorers' table.
Michael Redd of the Milwaukee Bucks walks in front of the scorers’ table as he gets set to check back into the game against the Phoenix Suns | Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

As good at hitting three-pointers as shooting guard Michael Redd was throughout his career 38% to be precise he was actually much better before those numbers declined the last few years of his career. Through the first seven years of his 12-year career, Redd was a 39.2% three-point shooter. A left-hander with a sweet stroke, Redd’s best season from downtown was his first full year in the NBA when he was a role player off the bench for the Milwaukee Bucks. Redd hit 44.4% of his threes that year, going 88-for-198.

17. Danny Granger

Danny Granger of the Indiana Pacers moves the ball past Marcus Morris of the Phoenix Suns.
Danny Granger of the Indiana Pacers moves the ball past Marcus Morris of the Phoenix Suns | Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Former Indiana Pacer Danny Granger’s career burnt out too quickly. Knee problems turned Granger from one of the best young stars in the game to nothing more than a role player. He left the league by 31. But there’s one thing his legacy relies on, and that’s the fact that he was an excellent three-point shooter. In 10 years as a pro, Granger hit 38% on threes and made 1,006 of them, with his best season seeing him hit 182 of them back in 2008–09.

16. Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant puts his hands on his hips and looks up at the basket.
All Kevin Durant wants is a title | Harry How/Getty Images

Like many players, Kevin Durant wasn’t much of a three-point shooter when he first entered the league with the Seattle Sonics. But as the franchise transitioned from Seattle to Oklahoma City, Durant found his three-point shot. He’s hit over 100 three-pointers in six of his last eight seasons. He’s 11 threes away from making it seven of the last eight years. Durant is a 38.1% shooter in his career, putting up an average of 4.7 threes per game.

15. Kevin Martin

Kevin Martin goes for the ball.
Kevin Martin goes for the ball | Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Guard Kevin Martin is one of the more underrated NBA scorers of the last 15 years. Drafted by the Sacramento Kings in 2004, Martin developed into not only a great scorer but a good three-point shooter. He finished his career in 2016 assuming he doesn’t pop up somewhere else with a 38.4% from downtown on 4.6 attempts per game. His best season was in 2012–13 with the Oklahoma City Thunder, when he hit 158 threes on 42.6% accuracy.

14. Voshon Lenard

Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls handles the ball as Voshon Lenard of the Miami Heat struggles to keep him covered.
Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls handles the ball as Voshon Lenard of the Miami Heat struggles to keep him covered | Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images)

Although guard Voshon Lenard shot 38.4% from three-point range during his 11-year career, he had a nice early stretch in his career when he was one of the best in the game. From 1997–2001, Lenard hit at a 39.9% rate while putting up 4.9 three-point attempts per game.

Lenard’s best season came in his second season in the league back in 1996–97, when he hit 41.1% while the NBA experimented with a slightly drawn-in three-point line. Despite being an excellent outside shooter, Lenard stepped away from the NBA at the age of 32 after hitting on just 32.1% of his three-pointers in 26 total games in 2005–06.

13. Eric Gordon

Eric Gordon of the Houston Rockets looks on while playing the Detroit Pistons.
Eric Gordon of the Houston Rockets looks on while playing the Detroit Pistons | Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Although he’s a career 38.5% three-point shooter, that number has gone up the last few years. Houston Rockets guard Eric Gordon is a 40.4% shooter from three-point range while shooting six threes per game over the last four years. He’s even been more healthy lately, after missing a ton of games early in his career to injury. If he continues to stay healthy, he’ll probably keep putting up big numbers playing on the court with James Harden in Mike D’Antoni’s offensive system.

12. Rashard Lewis

Rashard Lewis of the Orlando Magic drives past Nick Collison of the Seattle SuperSonics.
Rashard Lewis of the Orlando Magic drives past Nick Collison of the Seattle SuperSonics | Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Originally drafted by the Seattle Sonics in the second round of the 1998 draft, Rashard Lewis developed into a star player who was an excellent long-distance shooter for a man of his height. By the time his 16-year career ended, Lewis had a 38.6% three-point percentage and 4.4 attempts per game. His best season came in 2008–09 while playing under Stan Van Gundy with the Orlando Magic, when Lewis shot 39.7% and led the league in both three-pointers made (220) and attempted (554).

11. Wesley Matthews

Wesley Matthews chats with Damian Lillard.
Wesley Matthews chats with Damian Lillard | Getty Images

Coming in with a career three-point percentage of 38.7, Dallas Mavericks guard Wesley Matthews has been consistently one of the best from long-range since he joined the league as an undrafted rookie in 2009. It’s kind of crazy, in retrospect, that no team wanted to burn even a late second-round draft pick on the athletic Matthews. In just eight seasons as a pro, Matthews has knocked down 1,202 threes and counting. His best season came in 2013–14 with the Portland Trail Blazers, when he hit a career-best 201 three-balls with 39.3% accuracy.

10. Chauncey Billups

Chauncey Billups stretches his arms between plays.
Chauncey Billups won a championship with the Pistons | Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Point guard Chauncey Billups had a long career in the NBA, spanning 17 years. His longevity helped him rack up threes at a high rate, while still shooting at a nice 38.7%. That’s extra impressive when you realize that he didn’t even become a decent shooter from long-range until his fourth year in the league, hitting on 33.1% of his threes in his first three seasons. His best season shooting from downtown came in 2005–06, when he hit a career-high 184 threes and shot a career-high 43.3%.

9. Reggie Miller

Reggie Miller pumps up the crowd between plays.
Reggie Miller was the master of the three-pointer | Jeff Kowalsky/AFP/Getty Images

Could we complete any list of great three-point shooters without Indiana Pacers legend Reggie Miller? Miller shot 39.5% from deep in his career, hitting 2,560 three-pointers over 18 seasons and setting the record for the most threes in NBA history until Ray Allen eventually stole it from him. Miller had two seasons leading the league in three-pointers made while he shot over 40% from deep in 10 of his 18 seasons. Miller would’ve been great in any era of basketball, but he would’ve really thrived in today’s game.

8. Dennis Scott

Orlando Magic forward Dennis Scott fights for control of the ball.
Orlando Magic forward Dennis Scott fights for control of the ball with Denver Nuggets center Dikembe Mutombo and guard Bryant Stith | Tony Ranze/AFP/Getty Images

One of the players who benefited from the NBA moving the three-point line in back in the ‘90s was Orlando Magic forward Dennis Scott. The Magic moved him to the starting rotation full-time in 1995–96, and he saw his scoring average jump from 12.9 points to 17.5. That’s in large part because he started shooting 7.7 three-pointers per game that year, hitting at 42.5%. He led the NBA with 267 threes that year, which was also the most anybody had knocked down in a single season in NBA history until Allen stole that record, too. For his career, Scott shot 39.7% from deep.

7. Peja Stojakovic